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Friday, November 2, 2012

The Raccoon

NOTE:  Olive Ann was my First Friday Feature not long ago, so this first friday I have a different story.

It's a damp chilly day and I am sitting in the big chair, feet wrapped comfortably in my afghan, happily tapping away at my keyboard.  The beagle barking outside my window is nothing unusual so I pay him no mind.  When the corgi begins to chime in as well, I stop and listen, but quickly return to my tapping.  She spends most of her time napping on the porch but every now and then a hawk flies over and she barks out the obligatory warning before snoozing off again.  I continue to tap.

A few minutes pass and I notice the pitch of the beagle's yapping rises and the corgi has left the porch and joined Ringo in the back yard.  It's still not enough to drag me from my warm nest.  It is only when the yapping turns to yelping, growling and what can only be described as screeching that I pull myself up and go to the window.   I am shocked to see Fifi and Ringo, the two laziest dogs on earth playing tug-of-war with a very long raccoon...Fi at the head, Ringo at the tail.  I have no clue what to do.

I begin to beat on the window because as everyone knows, beating on the window will surely stop this game in it's tracks.  When it (surprisingly) doesn't, I begin to yell through the window to no avail.
At this point, time slows to a crawl as I ponder what to do next.  Should I run outside risking life, limb and rabies to try and separate the dogs from their prize?  Or, should I grab a gun and something... even though I'm not sure a) how to load the gun, b) which of the many many guns to use  and c) which bullets go in which gun?  I run for the phone instead.

First, I call my husband.  He does not answer.  Then I call Jack.  He does not answer.  It's probably just as well because they are both in fields 7-8 miles away.  Before I have a chance to think of something else, the phone rings and it is Jack.  I quickly bring him up to date.  He asks what I want him to do and reminds me he is 7-8 miles away...on a a field.  I reply that I don't know what I want him to do, but I don't know what to do.  He suggests I go outside and chase the raccoon away.  I hang up.  I don't know what I am going to do, but I know I am not going outside and get in the middle of a game of tug-of-war with two dogs and a (possibly rabid) raccoon.

I don't have to.

  The raccoon, in a surprising feat of cunning, escapes both dogs and begins to fight and claw at both.  Being the laziest dogs in the world, they cower and dart out of said coon's way.  After a minute, the embarrassed looking dogs now recover a bit of self respect and once again begin to attack the raccoon in earnest.  Stupid coon, I think.  He has the perfect opportunity to escape and stays instead.   Again he goes on the defensive and once again does himself proud against these two ridiculously inept dogs.  After a few minutes, both dogs lose interest and limp off far enough to allow the wiley raccoon to escape into a shed, and I assume out the other side.

Oh no.  He heads for a shelf, and settles in for a good long sit, I firmly believe to laugh at the two limping dogs.   By now, Fifi has had enough and heads for the porch.  Ringo, just a little less wimpish, sits vigil at the bottom of the shelf looking up at the raccoon.  He doesn't even bother to bark at him.  I decide surely the raccoon will slip out the shed at some point, so I return to the chair, pretty much exhausted just from watching.  Still no call from the husband.

Fast forward three hours.

I go to get the clothes from the clothesline.  There, in the same spot, sits the coon.  Both dogs sit on the ground beneath....just barking, no noise at all.   Now, Ben is home and outside.  OK, I admit it....I am a bit skittish with that big-eyed bandit just feet from the clothesline.  Ben....not so much.  The dogs, seeing me, begin to once again bark and howl at the somewhat stunned raccoon, for effect I suppose or in an attempt to win back a bit of respect from me now that they notice I am in the yard.  Since I am still a bit concerned that this coon might decide to attack me at the clothesline, I yell for Ben to do something.   He looks at me as if to say I am as dumb as the dogs and the coon, and  tells me if I put the dogs up, the raccoon will leave the shed and go back to coon land.  I doubt this to be true and beg him to "get rid of the coon."  He declines to "...whack a raccoon whose only crime is sitting in the shed." 

Does no one see a problem here?  This is an animal known to carry rabies.

But, apparently Ben knows more than I about coons and sure enough, he lumbers off as soon as the dogs are out of the way

(I know I heard him laughing as he waddled off into the woods.)

1 comment:

  1. Your dogs should be rewarded as smart and very very lucky. They treed the coon. The coon was a gentleman and did not go for their throats. This farmer's daughter hunted coon as a kid. The coon must have enjoyed the show since he took a bleacher seat to wait for the next act.

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